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Harvard, collaborators receive $64.7 million NIH grant to build a detailed brain map

first_img Read Full Story Researchers from Harvard will be part of an ambitious new initiative to develop a better understanding of the brain. Neuroscientists have dreamed for years of understanding the role that each individual brain cells plays, and how the cells differ, connect and function. But the number of cells has been simply too massive to study or map all of them on an individual level.Now, thanks to advances in technology, the neuroscientists’ dream is closer to being realized than ever before. In a project of unprecedented scale, the National Institutes of Health has awarded an international consortium of laboratories $64.7 million over the next five years to begin to build a detailed mouse brain atlas that will catalog and map the cells in a mouse brain. The project aims to identify all of the different cell types in the brain, determine what set of genes each type uses, and map their physical locations.In addition, the consortium will examine the forebrain, the part of the brain involved in most forms of cognition, emotion, and sensorimotor processing, in more detail, aiming to also determine the size and shape of each of the major types of neuron, and trace the connections they make to other regions of the brain. Part of the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, this project complements efforts by other BRAIN Initiative consortia to map the brains of humans and non-human primates.The mouse brain cell atlas project is led by Paola Arlotta, Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology and the Eli & Edythe Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Josh Huang, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and it brings together a diverse array of co-investigators from many institutions.A comprehensive catalog of the different types of brain cells, mapped to their physical locations in the brain, will ultimately improve researchers’ understanding of how the brain develops, connects and works—and what can go wrong with it in disease.“In order to solve medical problems, you really need this foundational knowledge of what cell types there are, where in the brain they are, and where they connect to,” Arlotta says. “And much of this information has been missing in the field, because we were not able, technology-wise, to gather it across the whole brain.”The labs will use several cutting edge techniques to build molecular profiles of each cell. Then they will match these profiles to a “brain atlas,” a 3D virtual map of the brain, connecting each cell’s molecular level data to a physical location.A wide variety of research projects will be facilitated by the atlas, from basic neuroscience to disease modeling.The grant reported in this publication was awarded by the National Institute Of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U19MH114821.—Written by Greta Friarlast_img read more


first_imgThe Bumbleance Children’s Ambulance project is seeking walkers and joggers to take part in the North-West 10K.The service helps families in Donegal bring very special little passengers to hospital and treatment centres around the country.They are trying to organise volunteers to take part in the NW 10K to raise much-needed funds. Those interested in raising funds can get sponsorship cards from 086 2740777. Among the many patients to benefit from the Bumbleance Service was little Jack Beatie Buchannan who celebrated his 3rd birthday this week.Little Jack was first to use the Bumbleance service.So if you haven’t signed up to a team or a sponsor, why not give the Bumbleance team a call. It’s a great cause. BUMBLEANCE TEAM SEEKS WALKERS AND JOGGERS FOR NORTH-WEST 10K was last modified: March 23rd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BumbleanceNorth West 10kvolunteerslast_img read more

Scientists Debunk Scientists

first_imgWhat do you know?  We look to science to tell us about reality, but how confident can we be when they keep changing the tune?Undermining cosmology:  Science Daily tells us today that “Cosmology Standard Candle Not So Standard After All.”  Results from the Spitzer Space Telescope show that Cepheid variables shrink as they age, “making them not quite as standard as once thought.”  One co-author of the paper in Astrophysical Journal warned, “Everything crumbles in cosmology studies if you don’t start up with the most precise measurements of Cepheids possible.”  He is confident that “This discovery will allow us to better understand these stars, and use them as ever more precise distance indicators.”  But isn’t that what they told us last time?Through a glass distortedly:  Another thing undermining cosmology is the distorting effect of gravitational lenses.  PhysOrg reported that lensing can bias counts of distant objects 10 to 30 times.  “Future surveys will need to be designed to account for a significant gravitational lensing bias in high-redshift galaxy samples.”  Unfortunately, the Hubble Telescope can’t do the job, “because at Hubble’s resolution one literally can no longer see the forest for the trees at these extreme distances.”  We’ll have to wait for the James Webb Space Telescope, “if it gets finished as designed,” to tackle this problem that is of “crucial importance to the optimal design of surveys for the first galaxies.”  See also Space.com, “Cosmic Lenses May Spoil Count of Ancient Galaxies.”Through the looking glass:  Meanwhile, be sure to calibrate your telescope carefully.  Science Daily reported, “Telescope Calibration May Help Explain Mystery of Universe’s Expansion,” suggesting it hasn’t been done yet.  When dealing with one-of-a-kind ultimate things, though, what does one calibrate it to?  John Woodward, who is working on calibrating the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii, doesn’t seem so sure: “because this is one of the first-ever such calibrations of a telescope, it is unclear just how much effect the team’s work will have, and part of their future work will be determining how much they have reduced the uncertainties in Pan-STARRS’s performance.”  Before he can measure the distortion of known uncertainties like gravitational lensing, maybe he needs to worry about the unknown uncertainties.Define asteroid:  We all know what asteroids are, right?  But did they exist before William Herschel invented the word?  While pondering that, Space.com argues that it was Herschel’s colleague Stephen Weston who invented the term.  OK, then, once humans agree on the term, all is settled, right?  Space.com told about a space rock undergoing an identity crisis.  Astronomers can’t decide if it is a comet or an asteroid.  It’s in the main asteroid belt, but has a tail (see picture on National Geographic).  Now they’re suggesting a new class of solar system objects: “main belt comets” – unless, that is, it turns out they’re seeing debris from a collision of two asteroids.    NG indicated that some scientists are excited to find main belt comets because it brings special delivery trucks closer to earth for their implausible saga: “If you try to hit the Earth from the Kuiper belt, that’s a hell of a long shot,” David Jewitt [UCLA] said.  “But if you try to hit Earth from the asteroid belt, which is ten times closer, it’s much easier, because Earth is a bigger and closer target.”  Do any of you remember being told on the Discovery Channel that delivery of earth’s water via comets was a hell of a long shot?Genes aren’t everything:  Size up this statement from PhysOrg: “We’ve been taught that DNA is everything, but you could equally well say packaging is everything.”  Results of a massive survey called ENCODE (ENCyclopedia of DNA Elements), “to develop an encyclopedia of the epigenome, that is, of all of the many factors that can change the expression of the genes without changing the genes,” emphasizes the roles chromatin and chromosome packaging have on the resulting organism.  Codes are everywhere, including the code of silence: “Zen-like, she [Sarah C. R. Elgin, Washington University] concludes that silence may be as important as expression.  ‘It’s like sculpture – what you see depends not on what you add, but on what you take away.”Good cholesterol not so good:  We’ve been told that HDL is the “good cholesterol” that promotes heart health.  Not so fast, reported Live Science: “ Not All ‘Good’ Cholesterol is Good at Unclogging Arteries.”  According to new research at the U of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, “heart disease risk may be better assessed by measuring HDL’s ability to remove artery-clogging plaque, rather than the HDL levels themselves.”  In fact, there may be another substance that determines HDL’s ability to remove plaque.  Unfortunately for us all, “The test is too labor-intensive as it is to be used clinically, [Dr. Daniel J.] Rader said.”Human-caused climate error:  Scientists have tracked penguins as indicators of climate change.  Now they are finding out that the act of banding penguins both harms the birds and invalidates the measurements.  Banded penguins have 44% fewer chicks, not so much because of climate change, but due to the damage to their lifestyle.  “Banding may have skewed the data,” PhysOrg said, “but climate change is still harming and will harm penguins,” hedging its bets about validity of global warming.    Live Science, though, said, “Because the approach diminishes survival and reproduction, Le Maho warned that climate change studies relying on banded birds are biased and produce questionable results.”  OK, so let’s just band something else.  Whoops: “[Rory] Wilson [Swansea University] said that the repercussions of banding would ‘absolutely’ carry over to other penguin species, and possibly even seals and sea turtles.”  Did we ever know what climate tune the band was playing?  If not, what should be the response to scientists like William Nordhaus telling politicians that “carbon taxes are the best approach to achieve significant emissions reductions”? (PhysOrg).Steven Shapin is at it again, upsetting our notions of scientific truth (see 11/02/2010).  We want to believe scientists are impartial, unbiased seekers of truth, but in Science last week,1 Shapin [Harvard] reviewed a book exploring commercial influences on science, asking, “Commerce at the Helm?”  He pointed to scholars who believe that due to commercial interference, and the desire to please funding sources, “scientific integrity is being disastrously undermined.”  Here are his concluding remarks:Despite pervasive myths of an ivory tower past, universities have always served their social masters and have always molded their internal cultures to those of the powers surrounding and sustaining them.  They have never done so completely, but neither have they ever been as contemplatively disengaged as legend implies.  Our whole society has become shot through with econometric sensibilities and corporate patterns of organization.  Why ever should we expect universities to be much different?  It’s a good question, meriting a considered and informed answer.  We’ve heard from the humanists and the social scientists; it’s time to hear a lot more from the natural scientists and engineers.  If the inhabitants of the modern research university cannot collectively agree that they want to push back, then the further alignment of research and teaching with econometric sensibilities is likely to be the future.1.  Steven Shapin, “History of Science: Commerce at the Helm?”, Science, 7 January 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6013 p. 33, DOI: 10.1126/science.1198434.If scientists keep changing their stories about things easily accessible to the senses in real time, how much can we expect confidence in their pronouncements about the unobservable past?(Visited 46 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Local researchers honoured at their ‘Oscars’

first_imgProf Helen Rees (middle on photo) is one of the medical researchers honoured at the “Oscars” of South African science last week. Here she is with Minister Naledi Pandor and President of South3, Mike Fraser. (Image: Department of Science and Technology) • Brilliant young minds at the CSIR • Royal boost for conservation in Africa • Solar car races around southern Africa • Safer stoves for all township homes • Drones used to fight crime in South Africa South African medical research institutes rank among the best in the world and are equal to internationally respected institutes, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said in handing out the National Science and Technology Forum Awards.The success of medical research in South Africa was celebrated at the 2015 National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Awards on Thursday, 9 July. The awards ceremony was held at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park.The annual NSTF Awards were established in 1998 to celebrate outstanding contributions to science, engineering, technology and innovation in South Africa. They also encourage the involvement and participation of organisations in research while raising awareness in the general public of local research and its relevance.They are often referred to as the “Oscars” of South African science.This year there were over 50 finalists in all the categories, which include Emerging Researcher and Contribution of a Lifetime. Two new awards – GreenMatter and the Photonics – were also launched.The GreenMatter Award is mainly for work in trans-disciplinary research or human capital development that promotes environmental sustainability within an academic or non-academic context. The Photonics Award has to do with research relating to photonics.Innovation and engineeringScience and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor delivered the keynote address at the ceremony. She said that medical research continued to do well in spite of the tough competition from other fields of research. “Bearing in mind that most of the categories in the NSTF Awards are for innovation and engineering, this is even more remarkable.”She praised the renowned parade of researchers, particularly those on the South African Research Chairs Initiative. “Their achievements affirm the Department of Science and Technology’s commitment to the research chairs programme through the R2.2-billion allocated to this programme since 2008.”The chair holders brought the best of research and innovation not only to South Africa, but the African continent. “We firmly believe that Prof Salim Karim’s Caprisa, Prof Valerie Mizrahi’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Prof Kelly Chibale’s Drug Discovery and Development Centre and Prof Helen Rees’ Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute rank among the best in the world and are equal to internationally respected institutes in the United States of America and the United Kingdom.”Pandor said the government was committed to supporting the research chairs and hoped that they would attract local and international students, as well as international research funds and increased research supervisory capacity. “We look to them to establish new partnerships with institutions across the globe, to strengthen innovation in the southern hemisphere and to build a new cohort of productive researchers and scientists.”Medical research in leadThe list of this year’s finalists indicates that medical research again took the lead. Reese, the executive director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, won the Contribution over a Lifetime by an Individual category.She was awarded for her contributions in the fields of HIV prevention, reproductive health and vaccines, where she enjoys global recognition as a public health strategist with a unique ability to translate research into policy and practice.Rees shared this award with Prof Robert Scholes, distinguished professor of ecology at Wits University, for his contribution to environmental science, systems ecology, savannah ecology, and global change.Khilona Radia, chief executive officer and team leader of Atrium Biotech, received an award for Research Leading to Innovation by a Team or Individual in an SMME. Radia promoted and developed an accurate rapid test for extra-pulmonary tuberculosis that will save lives and reduce costs related to health care.Other winners included Prof Zander Myburg of the University of Pretoria for his research into uncovering the genomic control of wood formation in fast-growing eucalyptus trees, which is significant for fuel production. He received the TW Kambule-NSTF Award for research outputs over the last five to 10 years.Dr Thulani Makhalanyane also received the TW Kambule-NSTF Award in the category of emerging researcher for his exceptional performance and contribution to the field of microbial ecology of hot and cold deserts.Source: Department of Science and Technology.last_img read more

Mbala’s shadow looms large over UAAP Finals; season numbers show Ateneo in for tough matchup vs La Salle

first_imgBen Mbala. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netFor all of Ateneo’s brilliance in the elimination round and gutsy performance in the Final Four against Far Eastern U, one player still casts a huge shadow over the UAAP Season 80 Finals starting this Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.La Salle’s Ben Mbala, who is set to pick up a second straight Most Valuable Player trophy, looms as the biggest stumbling block to the Blue Eagles’ bid for a first title since 2012 when the fierce rivals collide in another blockbuster series.ADVERTISEMENT “Mbala” was the first word uttered by Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga when asked on his thoughts of facing the Green Archers in the Finals just moments after the Eagles survived the Tamaraws, 88-84, in overtime on Wednesday.“That’s the first name we got to handle. We have to find a way to stay out of foul trouble against Mbala,” Arespacochaga added.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIsaac Go and Chiz Ikeh took turns in guarding Mbala, but the strong and athletic forward still got away with 28 points and 19 rebounds in La Salle’s 79-76 second-round win over Ateneo last Nov. 12. Mbala also added six steals and six blocks in another dominant performance.Although his rebounding is down from 16 boards to 13.1 per game this season, the hulking Cameroonian has turned into an even lethal scorer, averaging 26 points in 12 games, up from 20.6 points an outing in the previous season. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Read Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort But the Eagles will also have to deal with the likes of Ricci Rivero, Aljun Melecio and Santi Santillan in the Finals.Rivero in particular has become a key contributor, filling the void left by Jeron Teng as the secondary scorer with 14.1 points per game in the elimination round—a marked improvement from his 5.5 points an outing average from Season 79.“We’re saying that La Salle’s not a one-man team,” said Arespacochaga. “They’re a good team. There’s a reason why they’re in the Finals, why they’re waiting in the Finals, they’re the defending champs. So we have no illusions that it’s gonna be an easy game for us (in the Finals).”ADVERTISEMENT Olsen looks at next season with hope-tinted glassescenter_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

Rae Town Fishermen Certified Under City and Guilds

first_img Rae Town fishermen receive certification in motor vehicle and small boat repairs The 15 participants are now “employable” Story Highlights Training and certification facilitated under JSIF’s GOLA 5 Poverty Reduction Programme Fifteen fishermen from Rae Town in Kingston have received certification in motor vehicle and small boat repairs from internationally renowned United Kingdom vocational education organization,City and Guilds of London Institute (City & Guilds).Their training and certification was facilitated under the Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s (JSIF) GOLA 5 Poverty Reduction Programme, funded by the European Union (EU).The participants received their certificates during a presentation ceremony at the Rae Town Fishing Cooperative, on Friday, August 23.Speaking at the function, JSIF’s General Manager for Infrastructure and Civil Works, Andrew Neita, noted that the project was aimed at equipping the participants with the necessary skills to, among other things, maintain and repair small boat engines.“(Additionally) the participants have (attained) international accreditation through City and Guilds and the foundation for even more advanced training. They can also train others, ensuring a pool of maintenance and repair personnel to service the needs of the community and beyond,” Mr. Neita said, while noting that the beneficiaries’ commitment displayed for the duration of the training was key to the programme’s success.In noting that the participants were “actively involved” in all aspects of the training programme, showing keen interest in everything taught, Mr. Neita said they have now increased their ability to earn and sustain their families and communities, and improve their general welfare.“We hope that practising the skills learned in this training programme leads to success as a direct result of the hard work and commitment you put in over the past few months,” he added.For his part, Education Minister and Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, where Rae Town is situated, Hon. Rev. Thwaites, welcomed the fact that the 15 participants are now “employable”.“What has happened with you is that you have been through a training course and you are now able to go anywhere and show a certificate and to insist that you are treated properly, that you are engaged as a skilled person. Today, you are at the level of being trained people and, therefore, employable,” Rev. Thwaites said, while urging them to also give consideration to establishing their own operations.Head of Rural Development and Infrastructure, with the EU Delegation in Jamaica, Thomas Opperer, congratulated the participants on their achievements.“Projects like these represent hope for persons seeking to increase their marketability in these challenging economic times,” he said.last_img read more

All You Courts Hispanic Market With Custom Magazine

first_imgTime Inc.’s All You is looking to increase its penetration into the Hispanic women’s market with a multipoint holiday campaign. The magazine, aimed at practical, price-conscious consumers, is publishing a 12-page custom insert in the December issue, along with several mobile, social and digital components that will run through the first week of January.Diane Oshin, group publisher for All You, says the magazine’s audience is 11 to 12 percent Hispanic right now, trailing the overall population by 4 to 5 percent. She’s hoping to narrow that gap with this effort.”We thought we were doing a really good job in serving this market,” Oshin says. “If you look at our visuals—digitally, in the magazine, in any books, anything—you will see quite a diverse picture of women.” “[But] it was not doing the job,” she continues. “We recognized that it was not just about being inclusive visually. You needed to have the voice and the cultural cues of a Hispanic or Latina community.”The special issue is incorporating that voice and those cultural cues by turning to notable Latina bloggers for content—a community-driven content strategy that’s falls in line with the traditional editorial featured in All You.Oshin also noted that their research has shown high mobile and social penetration among Hispanics in the magazine’s target market. As such, they’ll have Latina contributors participate in Twitter chats and will highlight content (and the campaign’s sponsor, Nestlé) in multiple positions on the mobile site.See Also: All You Launches M-Commerce Pilot Program While All You will publish the content in English, Nestlé’s ultimate aim is to drive traffic to a Spanish-language site*, El Mejor Nido (“The Best Nest,” in English). Is that a conflicting goal?”Our marketers make their own decisions about that representation,” Oshin says. “We were quite diligent about whether we wanted this to be in Spanish or English, and everything that we learned about the community, even in homes where they’re bilingual, they [read in English]. We have so many young consumers and moms, and it’s a next generation that is much more acculturated than the prior generation of Hispanics. We took a forward-facing perspective and wanted to be sure we were going to be relevant with these young moms moving ahead.”All You will distribute 380,000 copies of the special issue to a mix of qualified subscribers and newsstands in key Hispanic markets.The magazine has seen total circulation rise steadily since 2008, currently standing at more than 1.5 million subscribers, per the Alliance for Audited Media. Ad pages have fallen since then though (as they have throughout the rest of the industry), dropping 5.6 percent year-over-year for the first three quarters of 2013, according to PIB. A spokesperson from All You says the magazine is up 6.05 percent in November however, and expects a 25-percent bump in December.*Editor’s note: Neslé also does provide an English-language version of the site, at elmejornido.com/en.last_img read more

Avengers Endgame Super Bowl 2019 trailer snaps competition to dust

first_img Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice More Avengers: Endgame More Super Bowl Avengers: Endgame is scheduled to open in theaters worldwide on April 26. And for a deeper breakdown of the highly-anticipated trailer, head over to Gamespot’s guide here. See All Feb 28 • Last chance to get 3 months of Mint Mobile service for $20 Post a comment The new Avengers: Endgame trailer released by Marvel Studios during the Super Bowl on Sunday shows the remaining Avengers mourning the loss of half of all the life in the universe, but the superheroes are also preparing for a much larger fight. The trailer has superheroes like Captain America attending a support group, Iron Man and Nebula repairing — or perhaps upgrading — armor, Black Widow practicing at the gun range, and even Hawkeye shows up. It’s intense, super intense in fact, punctuated with handclaps that you might say represent Thanos doing the old finger snap.This means fans could be in for an even more action-packed battle with the remaining heroes ready to make things right. It definitely has the feel of an… Endgame. 0:30 Super Bowl 2019 61 Photos reading • Avengers: Endgame Super Bowl 2019 trailer snaps competition to dust • Best Super Bowl TV deals: Buying a new TV for the big game? These are your best choices.How to watch the Super Bowl: Watch the game in the US for free, on TV or online.center_img Avengers: Endgame’s heroes are picking up the pieces Avengers: Endgame countdown hits 100 days, so here are some wild theories Avengers 4: Endgame trailer — 5 things we learned and 4 things we didn’t Watch Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame trailer again, in Lego Feb 7 • Every Avengers: Endgame character flash at the start of that Super Bowl trailer Cap looking grim. Captura de pantalla por Gonzalo Jiménez/CNET Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, War Machine, Hulk, Rocket Raccoon, Ant-Man, Thor and more return to fight another day in the new Avengers: Endgame trailer.While Thanos left behind plenty of emotional wreckage after Avengers: Infinity War, that doesn’t mean our favorite Marvel superheroes have totally given up hope. And maybe, Captain Marvel is their ace in the hole. Tags Best Super Bowl 2019 commercials ranked: Harrison Ford, The Dude, the Backstreet Boys and more Avengers, Captain Marvel, Twilight Zone: All the must-see Super Bowl 2019 trailers Super Bowl 2019: New Avengers: Endgame trailer shows heroes at their best Super Bowl 2019 commercials: Watch them all here Super Bowl 2019 memes: Game of Thrones, SpongeBob, Adam Levine’s nipples SpongeBob SquarePants barely shows up at Super Bowl 2019 halftime show See all of our Super Bowl coverage 0 May 7 • 2020 Toyota Supra first drive review: More reset than reboot Super Bowl 2019 Ahead of Avengers: Endgame, we visited the S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibit in Vegas TV and Movies Aug 14 • Raising the entry-level bar Women of Marvel Marvel Captain America Iron Man The Avengerslast_img read more